How to Replace an Ice Dispenser Motor in a Side-by-Side Refrigerator



This step-by-step DIY repair guide shows how to replace the ice dispenser motor in a side-by-side refrigerator. The dispenser motor is in the freezer door under the ice bucket and is controlled by a circuit board in the dispenser assembly. When you press the dispenser paddle or lever, the dispenser motor turns, pushing ice down the dispenser ice chute. If the refrigerator isn't dispensing ice because the motor doesn't rotate when activated, replace the ice dispenser motor with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

This repair procedure is for Kenmore, Whirlpool and KitchenAid side-by-side refrigerators.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 45 min.

Parts Required

  • Refrigerator ice dispenser motor

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Slot screwdriver
  • 1/4" nut driver
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands. Safely store any food that could deteriorate while the refrigerator is shut off.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Step 1: Disconnect the electrical power

Unplug the refrigerator or shut off the circuit breaker for the refrigerator.

Step 2: Remove the drip tray from the dispenser

Slide the bottom drip tray out until it stops at the locking tabs. Lift the back of the tray to free the lock. Slide the drip tray out. 

Step 3: Pull out the dispenser housing

Remove the 2 screws at the back of the dispenser housing. To remove it, carefully pull on the bottom of the housing while lifting the top.

Step 4: Disconnect the wires

Release the locking tab and disconnect the wires from the back of the dispenser housing. Remove the dispenser housing. 

 Tip: If your model has a green ground wire, disconnect it.

Step 5: Remove the screws from the dispenser motor

Lift the plastic flap that covers the dispenser motor and tape it out of the way. Remove the screws from the bracket that holds the dispenser motor in place.

Step 6: Remove the dispenser motor

Raise the metal auger shaft. Pull the motor out of the housing. Use a slot screwdriver to release the locking tab on the wire harness connection. Pull the wire harness out of the receptacle on the dispenser motor. Remove the motor from the door.

 Tip: If your replacement dispenser motor doesn't have a new mounting bracket, save the old one for reuse.

Step 7: Install the new dispenser motor

Plug the wire harness into the new dispenser motor. Lift the auger shaft and slide the motor into the housing. Drop the auger shaft into the new dispenser motor and secure the motor in the housing with the mounting screws. Reposition the plastic flap.

Step 8: Reconnect the wire harness on the back of the dispenser housing

Reconnect the wire harness to the back of the dispenser housing. Push the dispenser housing into the door and secure it with the 2 mounting screws.

 Tip: If your model has a green ground wire, reconnect it.

Step 9: Restore electrical power

Push the drip tray into place and snap it into the locking tabs. Plug in the refrigerator or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.